It was a very sunny Sunday afternoon when my mother in-law came in from the village. We had decided to bring her from the village to live with us in Lagos. She was so happy to be in Lagos. A city she had always heard of and we were also very happy to have her around. But this excitement turned soar the next day.
Mama woke up to see my husband and I already set to go to work that morning. Immediately we saw her come out of her room, we greeted her, and then I quickly informed her that her food was ready and that I kept it in the kitchen. But instead of saying thank you, she just starred at me with great surprise. After a few seconds she suddenly broke the silence by asking why I didn’t come to greet her in her room when I woke up. I was so surprised at the question. In fact, I didn’t even know what to say. But as soon as my husband noticed that I was short of words and was in shock, he quickly apologized on my behalf and then told her that we needed to step out so we do not arrive late at work.
Immediately we got into the car, my husband quickly apologized on behalf of his mom and advised me to please overlook any fault so that peace could reign. Then I smiled and told him calmly that I wasn’t offended and that I would always see his mom as my mom also. He smiled back and kissed me then, we zoomed off.
Later that day, I returned from work 4 hours earlier than my husband. Since I do not have a car yet, my husband always dropped me off at work in the morning, while I return on my own because we both have different closing hours. On my return, I went straight to mama’s room and greeted her on my knees expecting her to be very glad to see me with the pack of food I got for her from a very expensive restaurant on my way back home. But to my surprise, she slowly turned towards my direction, hissed and told me to go and eat my food; the food I prepared for her in the morning. I was so surprised. Then I got up and asked her why she didn’t eat the food. Her reply went like this… ”I am too old and traditional to be eating egg and fried ripe plantain. Do you think I am that our useless mother who didn’t train you well?”
I felt very bad but I had no option than to apologize. After tendering my apology, I gave her the pack of food I got and made up my mind to always inquire of what she wants to eat before cooking any thing for her.
Mama: heeee…. what is this rubish? I can now see what you use my son’s money for. So you buy food? Can’t you cook? stupid girl!
She kept yelling as she threw the pack of food at me. At that point I became so confused and was beginning to get agitated too. But I just thanked her in the midst of her yelling and left to my room.
Three hours later, my husband came in and found me on the bed crying. He had never really met me in that mood before so he asked what the matter was. I explained to him and after the explanation he did exactly what he did in the car that morning. He apologized on mama’s behalf and kissed me. I felt good again and decided to overlook.
The next morning, I got up at around 7:30 am. It was my day off. Knowing that my husband should have left for work by then, I decided to go to mama’s room to greet her and ask her what she would like to eat. As I was going to mama’s room, I was shocked to perceive the smell of food coming from the kitchen. So I decided to find out who it was.
Husband: Good morning darling!
Wife: Hey! I thought you had gone to work….
Husband: I am already done. Since its your day off, I decided to cook you something nice to enjoy yourself with till I return.
Wife: Wow… I am grateful baby…
Gbam! I could not even finish my statement when we both heard a very angry voice from behind….
Mama: Oh I can see! So this is how you have turned my son to your cook. So he even cooks for you before leaving for work. You are an idiot. Lazy bones! By the time I am through with you, you would realize that you can not ruin the life of a boy I carried for 9 months. No! Not when I am alive. I won’t take it.
That was it. Mama began to hit me. My husband tried to stop her by explaining to her that it didn’t matter and that it was an old mentality. He then added that, if a woman could also work to assist the home financially, he saw nothing wrong with a man occasionally helping out in cooking .
Mama: Son…! Do not be a fool. I can see that this woman has brain washed you already. I’ll kill her today!
Mama continued to hit me till I could escape into our bedroom. I was so broken. I felt terrible. My husband walked in to apologize as usual. But this time his apology didn’t mean anything to me. I told him that I had made up my mind to live my life and ignore mama totally. I added that, if the house felt too unbearable, either of us would have to leave: MAMA OR I. He looked at me for a minute without saying anything, smiled, then reminded me of the food he had prepared for me and went to work.